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Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(b London, Dec 8, 1904; d New York, Nov 25, 1979).

American publisher and collector. He trained at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York before working in publishing. In 1950 he set up his own publishing company, Harry N. Abrams Inc., one of the first American companies to specialize in art books. In 1968 he founded Abbeville Books. His collecting, which began in the mid-1930s, went through three distinct phases: his first interest was in such contemporary American painters as Milton Avery and Raphael Soyer. He continued to purchase such works into the 1950s, but from the mid-1940s his collecting began to be dominated by works by major 20th-century artists; he acquired, among other works, Marc Chagall’s Clock (1948), Pablo Picasso’s Motherhood (1921) and Georges Rouault’s Miserere (1939).

Abrams’s most notable period as a collector was the 1960s, when he became known as a major collector of new American art. His interest in this area was fuelled by the ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

(b Maple, Ont., May 25, 1879; d Cherkley, nr Leatherhead, June 9, 1964).

British publisher, financier, politician, collector and patron, of Canadian birth. As Minister of Information during World War I, he was responsible for the War Records Office in London, through which Wyndham Lewis, Muirhead Bone, William Orpen, Christopher Nevinson, Augustus John and six Canadian artists, J. W. Beatty (1869–1941), Maurice Cullen, C. W. Simpson (1878–1942), Fred Varley, David Milne and A. Y. Jackson, received commissions to record Canada’s military contribution to the war effort. The Canadian War Memorials were deposited at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, in 1921, and since then all but the major canvases have been transferred to the Canadian War Museum, also in Ottawa.

Beaverbrook was instrumental in developing the National Gallery of Canada’s collection of historical pictures; he was directly responsible for the gift of Benjamin West’s The Death of Wolfe by the Duke of Westminster in 1918, and the acquisition of ...

Article

Lillian B. Miller

(b New York, July 12, 1840; d New York, Oct 7, 1913).

American merchant and collector. He was the son of Bavarian Jewish immigrants who ran a small dry goods business in New York before the Civil War. About 1863 he entered into a business partnership with his brother; after Morris Altman’s death in 1876, Benjamin re-established the business and quickly developed it into a highly profitable enterprise. Altman’s aesthetic interests extended from European and Oriental decorative arts to Old Master paintings. A self-educated connoisseur, Altman depended a great deal on the advice of dealers such as Duveen, Agnew, Gimpel and Wildenstein, but also developed a fine discrimination as a result of a few short trips to Europe and the accumulation of a valuable art library. As he became more deeply involved in art, he began to devote his entire time to its study. Although never a recluse, he did not participate actively in New York society, never married and insisted on privacy....

Article

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse

American collectors and patrons. Walter (Conrad) Arensberg (b Pittsburg [now Pittsburgh], PA, 4 April 1878; d Los Angeles, CA, 29 Jan 1954) and his wife, Louise [née Mary Louise Stevens] (b Dresden, 15 May 1879; d Los Angeles, CA, 25 Nov 1953), lived in New York from 1914 to 1921. During this period their apartment at 33 W. 67th Street was an unofficial salon for the American Dada movement, where French expatriate artists such as (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia mingled with American writers, artists, musicians and others. Although Walter Arensberg enjoyed financial comfort for a while, owing to financial assistance from his father, this soon ended. Walter’s support of such journals as Others and Blind Man and of the Marius de Zayas Gallery was short-lived and ended in financial failure. In contrast, his wife, Louise (whom he had married in 1907), had inherited substantial wealth from her parents, which provided the means to acquire the majority of works the couple amassed from the 1920s....

Article

Arman  

Alfred Pacquement

[Fernandez, Armand]

(b Nice, Nov 17, 1928; d New York, Oct 22, 2005).

American sculptor and collector of French birth. Arman lived in Nice until 1949, studying there at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs from 1946 and in 1947 striking up a friendship with the artist Yves Klein, with whom he was later closely associated in the Nouveau Réalisme movement. In 1949 he moved to Paris, where he studied at the Ecole du Louvre and where in an exhibition in 1954 he discovered the work of Kurt Schwitters, which led him to reject the lyrical abstraction of the period. In 1955 Arman began producing Stamps, using ink-pads in a determined critique of Art informel and Abstract Expressionism to suggest a depersonalized and mechanical version of all-over paintings. In his next series, the Gait of Objects, which he initiated in 1958, he took further his rejection of the subjectivity of the personal touch by throwing inked objects against the canvas.

Arman’s willingness to embrace chance was indicated by his decision in ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

[A. I. R. Gallery]

Art gallery in New York. Founded in 1972, Artists in Residence, or A. I. R. Gallery, was the first artist-run, not-for-profit gallery dedicated to women artists in the USA. Encouraged by the burgeoning Women’s Movement, a group of women artists wanted to create meaningful opportunities to show their art and have it seen and discussed. There were few options for women creating art to show it since few of the commercial galleries would show work by women. Women artists might occasionally have a single work included in a group show at a commercial gallery, but it was rare, and solo exhibitions of women artists were rarer still. So, women artists had to develop their own occasions to show their art.

A. I. R. Gallery’s mission is “to advance the status of women artists by exhibiting quality work by a diverse group of women artists and to provide leadership and community to women artists.” The gallery was founded by a group of artists—Dotty Attie (...

Article

Madeleine Fidell-Beaufort

(b New York, March 17, 1822; d New York, Aug 11, 1904)

American wood-engraver, art dealer, collector and philanthropist. Avery’s career as a wood-engraver and his involvement with the New York publishing trade began in the early 1840s. He worked for, among others, Appleton’s, the New York Herald and Harper’s and produced illustrations for trade cards, religious tracts, adventure stories and children’s books. By the early 1850s Avery had begun compiling humorous books and commissioning drawings from such artist-illustrators as Felix Octavius Carr Darley, John Whetten Ehninger, Augustus Hoppin (1827–96), Tompkins Harrison Matteson and John McLenan (1827–66). His business contacts led to close relationships with such artists as Frederick Church, John F. Kensett and William Trost Richards.

By the late 1850s Avery had begun to collect drawings and small cabinet pictures by local artists. Other art collectors, notably William T. Walters, asked Avery’s advice when commissioning works of art. In 1864 he turned his engraving practice over to ...

Article

Darryl Patrick

(b New York, Nov 9, 1861; d Palm Beach, FL, March 24, 1944).

American collector and businessman . Having founded a major banking house in New York, Bache continued the interest in collecting that had begun when he was young. While living in Paris before World War I he had bought fine antique furniture for his home. After the war he specialized in collecting paintings of Renaissance and Baroque Italian, Flemish, French, Dutch, German and English artists. He often used the services of art dealers René Gimpel (1881–1945) and Joseph Duveen, through whom he purchased such paintings as Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Billet-doux, Vermeer’s Young Woman Reading and Rembrandt’s Standard-bearer (all New York, Met.). Bache bought Billet-doux for £250,000 in 1919 from Gimpel and, with the help of Duveen, bought the Standard-bearer in 1924 for £60,000. In 1937 he established a foundation to manage the collection for public viewing in his home at 814 Fifth Avenue in New York. In January 1944 he made a will bequeathing the collection to the ...